Very large Yuan

The first people who brought to Europe the news of China were merchants. Therefore, in the semi-fantastic stories woven sometimes quite practical information: what and how much you can buy in a certain city, and much of the local currency is given for the silver thaler. But, by and large, Chinese money seemed to Europeans such as fabulous as the gold elves.

A rich family

Just think - a hole in the middle of the coin to money on a string strung as beads. That's what! Some coins do not metal, and the salt. Can you imagine what would happen if the local rich man gets into the rain? But this is not the most surprising. Of old rags Chinese cook paper - something between papyrus and parchment. The dried substance, they are cut into small squares and write on them the name of his sovereign. And so the emperor enjoys respect in their country, that these pieces, without, apparently, any value, walking among his subjects as real money. Our ancestors in a nightmare could not have dreamed of a rainbow as pieces of paper will treat their offspring.

But even now the most cursory glance at the Chinese numismatics is reverential admiration - as far as it is diverse and different from the European one. Each coin - mirror incredible trials endured by the Chinese people, in spite of that still preserve their culture and identity.

The history of money is impossible to write in isolation from the history of the state. She has more than seven thousand years. The Chinese lead her back to the semi-legendary Xia kingdom. China's climate was colder then, and animal husbandry was the main occupation of the person. In an exchange of all evaluated in bulls or sheep.

To fulfill the role of money and cereals. So far in the depths of the South-East, if not small change coins, the change is ticking cups of rice. No, people tried to devise equivalent, which would take all. Cowrie shells - brilliant, lightweight, strong - were already real money. During excavations of ancient settlements found them in such quantities that there is no doubt that they hoarded. Shells sorely lacking, and there were substitutes in stone. Finally, with the development of industry money was made of brass and bronze. The Chinese associate this period of the Shang Dynasty and Western Zhou. Bronze gradually squeeze out the rest. It does not spoil, take up little space, needed just everything. Bronze cowrie practical simple bars, it's not always the traders on hand the scales to accurately determine the weight and therefore the cost, besides always been fans <dilute> alloy. Cowries appear on labels to guard against counterfeiting. Kauri more of these take the form of coins.


Epoch <Warring> - Warring States - in the mid-1st millennium BC Each state, even the smallest, cast their coins. Archaeologists say about hundreds of places of issue. Bronze coins were in the form of a hoe - the kingdom of Jin, in the form of a knife - Yan and Qi, bronze cowrie - Chu, fish, bells and more. In addition to bronze, had circulation shovel silver money - Zheng, golden square with stamps - Chu.